The Hood River Little League All-Star teams, 10U and 12U, played in their respective District 5 Championship tournament in Madras on June 22-27. Neither team was able to win, with the 10U team placing third out of seven and the 12U team placing second out of eight. The losses brought both teams’ seasons to an end, but only after some exciting gameplay and great effort by the players and coaches alike.
The 10U was granted a bye in the first round of play, slated to play the winner of Redmond and South Central. Redmond won and the two teams faced off, with Hood River winning handily 13-0. Trenton Boydston and Aksel Betz combined on the mound to complete the shutout on Redmond. Betz and Harjo led the Hood River offense, the former hitting a single and triple and the latter racking up two singles and a walk.
The next game was against Bend North in the semi-finals. Both of Bend North’s teams were the strongest in their respective tournaments, and the 10U team showed as much by defeating Hood River 5-3. While HRV rallied late, they were unable to overcome the gap and fell into the losers bracket, where they lost 13-1 to Crook County. Bend North ended up winning the tournament and will go on to represent District 5 at state.
The 12U team defeated South Central in their first game 18-5, but proceeded to lose to Bend North 12-4 in their next contest. The crushing defeat didn’t damper Hood River’s spirit though, as they fell into the loser’s bracket with their heads held high.
“We felt like we had the talent to fight back to the championship,” said Manager Kasey Postlewait. “The biggest thing was the kids keeping it together, and they did. They maintained composure and battled back.”
That they did. Hood River went on a three-game winning streak, defeating Jefferson County 9-3, The Dalles 6-5 in extra innings after rallying from behind and Redmond 10-0. The streak took them to the championship game against Bend North, who had been waiting patiently on the winner’s bracket. Hood River simply couldn’t match up and lost 10-0, taking second place. Bend North will represent District 5 at state for 12U.
“I think everyone was quite pleased with our accomplishment,” said Postlewait. “We came in as underdogs and fought our way out of the loser’s bracket.”